Roisin Murphy is ready to Overpower New York

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Róisín Murphy started her relationship with former boyfriend Mark Brydon by asking what is now a legendary question for her fans: “Do you like my tight sweater? See how it fits my body.” This quote would go on to be the name of the first album created by Moloko, the band that the two created after first meeting.

While creating a string of monumental albums that took the dance/electronic music world by storm, Moloko ultimately ended when Murphy and Brydon’s romantic relationship ended.

But Murphy’s fans can fret not — she has gone on to create two disco-infused, soulful pop and (in her own words) “very emotional” albums that have left old and new fans begging for more. Her newest album, Overpowered, released over a year ago in Europe, will soon hit the shelves here in the States.

While US audiences have had scant opportunity to see her live, Murphy is venturing to New York City’s Mansion on October 24th for an over-the-top performance, the event promoted by seminal NYC event promoters the Saint At Large

The last time that Murphy performed in the States, she was on tour with Moloko (who perhaps you know from their smash hit “Sing It Back”.) “It was very lonely I was 21, it was a very hardcore tour, with a lot of distance between venues. Some of the events were wonderful — our LA show, the Knitting Factory in New York, the San Francisco show. But there were a lot of half-empty venues. We played a gig in Vegas that turned out to be a massive rave — there were these hardcore German beats and then suddenly Moloko comes on — people were leaving in droves. The promoter said he was losing 100 people per minute. He actually paid us to get off stage,” Róisín tells Phillygaycalendar.

Murphy’s performances and videos are heavily centered around fashion and performance art. “I mean, my music career started by talking about my sweater, so there is an obvious fashion and visual appeal to what I do,” says Murphy. “It is a joy to be creative in whatever I am doing. If I come to make a video or a performance, I am just overjoyed to be allowed to do this for my career, so I put everything that I have into it. If it ever becomes a mask, I will take it off I try to use as many elements as I can to make a complex statement with my music and performances.”

When asked how she became interested in music, the soft-spoken Murphy provides an inspirational story. “To use a cliché, music saved my life, really. When I was twelve years old living in Manchester, my parents split I started hanging out with these “weirdo boys,” collecting records and seeing shows. It helped me have a sense of self, helped me develop my personality, give meaning to my life.”

The role of fashion will be apparent in her New York show. She recounts stories of trying on her grandmother’s 50’s and 60’s clothing in the attic of their home. This influence is apparent in her style today, and she promises multiple costume changes during her show — in addition to two beautiful backup singers, and eight piece band, and lots of performance and choreography. “It’s a very fun yet emotional show — I hope people enjoy it.”

For Róisín’s fans, this is a day that has been in the waiting for a long time — there’s little doubt that her only US audience for years (and possibly for years to come) will enjoy it.

Róisín Murphy performs at Mansion Friday, October 24th – 530 West 28th Street, NYC — for tickets and information.

Murphy’s new single “Movie Star” is released October 14th.

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